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gsnap65 Jul 9th, 2010 04:07 AM

Relocate to which island???
Tired of the rat race and sick of the snow in New England! Would appreciate any advice, thoughts and ideas on which island to relocate to. Jobs and housing need to be considered.
Thank you!!!

RoamsAround Jul 9th, 2010 05:01 AM

Assuming you are a US citizen you'll find it infinitely easier to relocate to Puerto Rico, Culebra, Vieques or any of the US Virgin Islands as you'll already have citizenship/residency status and the ability to work without a Work permit. Moving to those places is essectially no different than moving across town or to another state. If you are interested in relocating to the destinations mentioned check out the Virgin Islands Relocation website and Forum ( and READ EVERYTHING there. You'll learn all about what life is like in the islands.

Moving to any other Caribbean island is like moving to any other foreign country - you CANNOT JUST SHOW UP TO LIVE/WORK. You would have to apply for residency which usually entails making a substantial investment (think in terms of $250,000US or more) in property or a business that will provide jobs for locals. In some instances you may be required to have a "local" as a partner. If granted having residency DOES NOT give you the ability to work. For that you need a Work Permit and pay the required fees. These are difficult to get. You must possess a unique skill and your potential employer must prove to local labor officials that there are no qualified locals available to fill the position. The permit, if granted, is good only for that job and only for that applicant. If you are married and your spouse wishes to work he/she must obtain their own Work Permit. The Permit is good for one year and must be renewed annually however there are no gurantees the renewal will be granted.

The laws are complex and vary from island to island so you'd be wise to hire a local attorney to help you with the process once you decide where you wish to live.

You'd also be wise to make a Pre-Move Visit to the island(s) you are considering to find out what life is really like BEFORE you make a permanant move. Living in the islands is far different than being here on vacation. Your comment about being "tired of the rat race" is intriguing. We have a saying in the Caribbean, The rats still race, it's just a different venue.

Do your homework as you'll find life in the islands has it's own set of frustrations including the fact that living expenses are probably going to be higher and wages tend to be lower than for comparables "back home". that's the Catch-22 of living in the Caribbean.

Do a google search using such topics as "living in the Caribbean", Relocating to NAME OF ISLAND", etc. and you'll find lots of information. You are not the first peron to consider living in the islands and you won't be the last.

Good luck following your dream.

lobomago Jul 9th, 2010 05:30 AM

Roamsaround is correct. You cannot just move here (or to any other island). The economy is as bad in the islands as it is elsewhere and unemployment is high. That means it is harder to get a work permit. Expats are leaving our island in droves these days.

On the island I live on it took three years to process my application for permanent residency with a right to work. They are no longer accepting applications in that category. My family has been here for 30+ years and my son was born here. If I had that much trouble-think how much you might have just dropping in cold.

Also, what makes you think we don't have a "rat race" here? Different place but we still have stressors-including ones you never thought of. Cost of living is high-56.00 for a case of beer; 9.00 for a box of cereal, 5-8.00 for a gallon of milk. If you decide to move you had better have some resources.

Carrybean Jul 9th, 2010 05:39 AM

If you decide to move to the USVI, check out this relocation forum:

JeanH Jul 10th, 2010 04:26 PM

Before you decide to relocate to the Caribbean, read 'Don't Stop the Carnival' by Herman Wouk. A bit dated, but the issues in the book are absolutely still happening.... It's a great read.

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